Dede Cummings

Amid deep fear, glimmers of hope

So much weighs heavily on anyone in the United States who knows our history and cares about democracy and the health and well-being of our most vulnerable people

How can we find hope in these difficult times?

It's a really interesting time right now in the pandemic, especially because there's a glimmer of hope with vaccines rolling out.

But there's also fear of mutations to the virus and of other coronaviruses on the horizon. Another area of concern is the insidious attack on the Capitol and the realization that it was very possibly an inside job.

All of this weighs heavily on anyone in the United States who knows anything about her history and cares about democracy and the health and well-being of our most vulnerable people.

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Fire and an Armageddon-black sky

What would it be like to grab your essentials and keepsakes under these circumstances?

It started late that night hearing about the fires in California. I put some more logs in the fireplace at our home in Vermont and I sat there in shock, staring at the flames, thinking of my sister and her husband out in Malibu. Fire. I imagined the worse...

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Students lead, and a teacher follows

‘My sister said that being a teacher was the greatest thing she’s done with her life. She said she doesn’t know how other teachers can go back to the classroom now.’

My older sister is retired now after 36 years of teaching high-school English. When we were young, I looked up to her. I thought I might even become a teacher, but I realized my heart wan't in it. After college, she went to Middlebury's Bread Loaf School of English,

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Writers tackle climate change

Yes, the climate is in peril, and most of us are too busy to stop and look through the forest. You see, in Vermont, we are protected, somewhat. Our proximity to Canada, always good, gives us a northern edge. Our Northeast Kingdom, in fact, is a world unto itself, teeming with trout, bears, wild and untamed mountains and bogs, and people who inhabit a world of slow living. Down south, in Brattleboro, where I live, we are linked by our...

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Moved to say ‘Me, too’ and be loud

I have a reoccurring nightmare: I'm being chased by a man who is trying to stab me. There you have it. I don't think I've shared this with anyone - well, maybe my therapist. I know it's unpleasant to think about, but let's think about something even more unpleasant: a white man in a hotel room on the 32nd floor, raining bullets down on unsuspecting partygoers. Our country is divided right now in ways it has never been before; however,

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How you can help refugees, in Vermont and beyond

Thanks to the editors at The Commons for helping me share my story. We are amid the biggest refugee crisis the world has seen. We need to keep the momentum going to help all refugees fleeing conflict in Northern Africa and Syria. I am an advocate for change, immediate action, on a small scale. Time is of the essence. The colder season is beginning in many parts of the world. People need food and shelter, and love - they clearly...

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Hope and help

On June 4, at 10:15 p.m., my daughter and her cousin were hit by a truck on Interstate 95 in New Haven, Conn. on the Q Bridge. My daughter's car had caught on fire, so they had no choice but to walk over the bridge. They were critically injured, but the accident happened within sight of Yale–New Haven Hospital, a level-one trauma center, which saved their lives. Tragedy can catch you with no warning: drying the dishes, reading a book.

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Quiet solidarity

As I stood waiting for my phone to charge outside the historical apartment building on West End Avenue in New York City at the biggest climate march in U.S. history, I watched the crowd take the form of a long line stretching in either direction as far as the eye could see. I marveled at the size and at the good humor of the marchers, who had been waiting for two hours to even begin due to the unexpected surge...

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